posture

1 of 2

noun

pos·​ture ˈpäs-chər How to pronounce posture (audio)
1
a
: the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose
erect posture
b
: the pose of a model or artistic figure
2
: state or condition at a given time especially with respect to capability in particular circumstances
maintain a competitive posture in the market
3
: a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude

posture

2 of 2

verb

postured; posturing

transitive verb

: to cause to assume a given posture : pose

intransitive verb

1
: to assume a posture
especially : to strike a pose for effect
2
: to assume an artificial or pretended attitude : attitudinize
posturer noun

Did you know?

The Latin verb ponere, meaning "to put" or "to place," had a role in putting quite a few English terms into place, including component, dispose, expose, impose, oppose, posit, position, positive, postpone, and, yes, posture. The past participle of ponerepositus—gave Latin the noun positura, which has the same meaning as the English noun posture. Positura passed through Italian and Middle French and was finally adopted by English speakers as posture in the late 16th century. The verb posture later developed from the noun, finding its place in English at around the midpoint of the 17th century.

Examples of posture in a Sentence

Noun Human beings have an upright posture. a good upright posture will prevent backaches
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
As their names suggest, the fetus or fetal posture has the sleeper tucked in, both legs bent and supporting each other. Brianna Kamienski, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 In private, Mayorkas—who is short, fit, and bald, with bushy eyebrows and a cadet’s ramrod posture—is ironic, sharp-witted, and charismatic, a raconteur who leaps out of his seat to exaggerate a detail or deliver a punch line. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 Prayers were silent across the church, but teary eyes and kneeling postures at St. Agnes Catholic Parish spoke louder than words Thursday. Andrea Klick, Kansas City Star, 15 Feb. 2024 This approach enhances security posture and fosters a proactive security mindset within the organization. Ran Nahmias, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Only by pulling back—by trimming its political objectives and defense obligations, and the military posture that supports them—can Washington plausibly keep Europe and the Middle East crisis-free, at least for the United States. Stephen Wertheim, Foreign Affairs, 14 Feb. 2024 Hendrickson was familiar with this posture of avoidance. Elliot Ackerman, WIRED, 5 Feb. 2024 Some have been cited in recent studies of China’s nuclear posture; many others have not been brought up before. Chris Buckley, New York Times, 4 Feb. 2024 This play also suggests, more coyly and controversially, that there can be real power in the victim posture. Thomas Chatterton Williams, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2024
Verb
On the contrary, the community of experts who drive how America postures its nuclear forces and determine what must be done to implement the president’s vision is relatively small. Ankit Panda, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2023 Despite his close ties to Putin and the Russian government, Tikhon has tried to posture himself as sympathetic to the Ukrainian people since the invasion began. Timothy H.j. Nerozzi Fox News, Fox News, 12 Oct. 2023 Of course, some of their claims around climate risk are posturing to increase rates. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 On Thursday, the U.A.W. postured back by filing a complaint against Mr. Scott with the National Labor Relations Board (such complaints are often dismissed). Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023 Some of that may be posturing (after all, the company’s stock has jumped 40% since Ford’s announcement), but Tesla’s existential purpose enforces a clarity and commitment that the other automakers lack. Behnam Tabrizi, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2023 Now, their tiny descendants do pushups on rocks in our gardens, posturing to attract five-inch-long mates with antics emulating those of their grand predecessors. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 31 July 2023 Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, two computer geeks worth more than $300 billion put together, are posturing to fight each other in a mixed-martial-arts cage match. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 23 June 2023 And then recently, with the passing of the Queen, John Lydon acts like the whole sentiment of ‘God Save the Queen’ was just posturing and didn’t really have the venom. Jason Pettigrew, SPIN, 19 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'posture.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle French, from Italian postura, from Latin positura, from positus, past participle of ponere to place — more at position

First Known Use

Noun

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1645, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of posture was circa 1586

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Dictionary Entries Near posture

Cite this Entry

“Posture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/posture. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

posture

1 of 2 noun
pos·​ture ˈpäs-chər How to pronounce posture (audio)
1
: the position of one part of the body with relation to other parts : the general way of holding the body
2
: a particular condition or state
a country's defense posture
postural
-chə-rəl
adjective

posture

2 of 2 verb
postured; posturing
: to take a particular posture : pose

Medical Definition

posture

noun
pos·​ture ˈpäs-chər How to pronounce posture (audio)
1
: the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose
erect posture
2
: a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude

More from Merriam-Webster on posture

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